Physicians Received Billions of Dollars from Pharmaceutical, Medical Industry

U.S. physicians received more than $12 billion from pharmaceutical and medical device industries over the last decade, according to a research letter.

The letter, published on March 28, describes that the medical industry made 85 million payments to more than 50% of eligible physicians from 2013 to 2022.

The information was collected from Open Payments, a database serving as a transparency program.

Orthopedic doctors received the most payments, with $1.36 billion. Neurologists and psychiatrists received the next-greatest medical payment, with $1.32 billion.

Pediatric surgeons and trauma surgeons received the lowest payments, with $2.89 million and $6.96 million, respectively.

Overall, 57.1% of U.S. physicians received payment.

The leading drugs associated with the greatest payment included Xarelto ($176.3 million), Eliquis ($102.6 million), and Humira ($100.2 million).

Xarelto, produced by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer, is used to treat blood clots; Eliquis, made by Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer, is a blood thinner; and Humira, developed by AbbVie, is used to treat arthritis, plaque psoriasis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.

The top three medical devices included the daVinci Surgical System ($307.5 million) Mako SmartRobotics ($50.1 million), and CoreValve Evolut ($44.8 million).

“Despite evidence that financial conflicts of interest may influence physician prescribing and may damage patients’ trust in medical professionals, such relationships remain pervasive,” the analysis’ authors wrote.